Tag Archives: UNL Extension

Persons of all ages are invited to attend a “Farm and Ranch Estate Planning Workshop” hosted by UNL Extension.  This workshop will be held on March 2 from 9:30 to 3:00 at the Merrick County Ag Building, Fairgrounds, Central City.

The program is free with the lunch being provided by the Archer Credit Union. Everyone attending is asked to register by calling the Merrick County Extension Office at 308-946-3843 to ensure that there is enough lunch, handouts, and other materials. Please register by February 27, 2020.

One presentation will focus on the decisions and situations which should be addressed when thinking about how your farm or ranch estate will be passed. Topics will include: the need for planning, proper family communications, who makes the decisions, concept of fair versus equal, family negotiations, and much more. The presentation is designed to give some basic information to those that haven’t yet started to think about their succession or transition plan for their assets.

In addition, an attorney will be making his presentation to give Ag Families the basics of what they need to start planning their wills, trusts, and other end of life documents that need to be in order.

The objective is to start the process of having the farm succession or transition planned. Bring your questions, as the session is designed to be interactive answering as many questions as possible.

Allan Vyhnalek, UNL Extension Educator for Farm Succession will present. He was recently assigned to the Ag Economics Department to work on farm and ranch succession and transition. Tom Fehringer, Columbus based attorney with an additional office in Central City, will make the legal presentation. He has worked with farmers for over 16 years will cover the legal aspects of end of life and end of business decision making.

While the workshop will use examples related to Agriculture, the estate planning parts of the workshops will be applicable to all and anyone with interest is invited to attend. Participants at previous events always report that they wished they would have started sooner, when asked about the value of attending the presentation.  The consequences of not having an appropriate plan in place can jeopardize the financial stability of your operation, and the future of the family.  More importantly, we need to have our wishes known to others so the legacy of the farms and ranches can be passed to the individuals or entities intended.

For more information or assistance, please contact _308-946-3843 to register or Allan Vyhnalek, 402-472-1771.

The most common cause of agricultural-related death in Nebraska is overturned tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Employing uncertified individuals under the age of 16 is a liability risk for farmers if those young people operate such equipment.

Susan Littlefield’s interview with Susan Harris-Broomfield click link below…


Nebraska Extension offers Tractor Safety Training for youth looking to become certified through a Hazardous Occupations Course. All youth, ages 14-15, working on a farm or ranch other than their own MUST be certified through a Hazardous Occupations Course. Anyone older than 15 is also welcome to attend these trainings, but those under 14 are not eligible. Extensive training on tractor and ATV safety occurs during in-class lessons with hands-on activities. Instilling an attitude of safety and respect for agricultural equipment is the primary goal of this course. Successful completion of the course will allow trained youth to operate a tractor over 20 horsepower, or to connect or disconnect an implement or any of its parts to or from a tractor.

The first day of classroom instruction includes hands-on demonstrations, concluding with a written test. Classroom instruction will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. Students are required to pass the test before taking the driving test on day two. The second day will include a physical driving test with equipment operation and ATV safety lessons. To receive certification, students must demonstrate competence in hitching and unhitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course. In all locations, instructors will offer an ATV simulator experience to learn about safe behaviors and laws for ATVs and UTVs. Students will also complete homework assignments for the second day.

Cost for the Nebraska Extension’s Tractor Safety training is $60. For more information, contact the site coordinator for your chosen location (below).

2020 Tractor Safety Training Schedule

Training Location Site Coordinator Training Dates*
Fairgrounds, Ord 308-728-5071 May 26-27
Fairgrounds, Wayne 402-375-3310 May 28-29
Fairgrounds, Weeping Water 402-267-2205 May 21-22
Plains Equipment, O’Neill 402-336-2760 June 1-2
Fairgrounds, Gordon 308-327-2312 June 3 (Day 1 online)
Evangelical Free, Ainsworth 402-387-2213 June 4-5
Fairgrounds, Geneva 402-759-3712 June 9-10
WCREC, North Platte 308-532-2683 June 13-14
Buffalo County Extension Office, Kearney 308-236-1235 June 16-17
Adams County Extension Office, Hastings 402-461-7209 June 18-19
Legacy Museum, Gering 308-632-1480 June 29-30

*All on-site classes begin at 8:00 AM. End times will vary depending on the number of participants.

Nebraska Extension’s Master Gardener Program is taking applications for Panhandle residents who enjoy horticulture, want to learn more, and are willing to volunteer to share their knowledge with their community.

      Master Gardener training will begin in early February at several sites in the Panhandle. To sign up for the program, call your local Nebraska Extension County Office, or pick up a brochure from Extension offices in Scottsbluff, Alliance or Sidney.

      The brochure has a registration form that needs to be completed and returned by Jan. 31. The brochure also can be downloaded from the Panhandle Center website, https://panhandle.unl.edu

      For more information contact Extension Educators John Thomas in Alliance (308-762-5616), Gary Stone in Scottsbluff (308-632-1480), or Karen DeBoer in Sidney (308-254-4455).

      The Nebraska Extension Master Gardener program has been part of Nebraska Extension since 1976. Master Gardener volunteers are trained by Extension faculty and staff in many horticulture-related topics. They then contribute time as volunteers, working through their local extension office, to provide horticulture-related information to their community.

      Volunteers might answer phones at a county extension office, make horticulture presentations to community organizations, assist 4-H clubs with garden projects, judge horticulture exhibits at county and state fairs, participate in community garden projects, write a garden column for the local paper, and more.

      Master Gardeners are required to complete training and 40 annual hours of volunteer service. Initial training curriculum covers topics encompassing the whole landscape such as; plant science, botany, insects, weed, wildlife, and turfgrass management, soils and pesticide safety. Volunteers retain their certification through annual training and volunteering.

      Applicants should be at least 19 years old with a strong work ethic and an interest in learning more about horticulture and landscape systems.

      The 2020 training will begin in early February, with weekly training classes running into late February or early March. The training consists of three statewide classes available at Extension Offices in Alliance, Scottsbluff and Sidney, and the four advanced training sessions that will take place in Scottsbluff.

      Participation is $40 for either the three statewide sessions or the four sessions in Scottsbluff, or $55 to attend all sessions. Individual sessions are $15 ($20 for the session at the NRD office, which includes lunch). For an additional $110 fee, Master Gardeners receive a t-shirt, Master Gardener manual, and name badge.

The Fundamentals

      The four statewide sessions will take place Tuesday evenings from 5:30-8 p.m. on Feb. 11, 18, and 25 and March 3. Through the use of Zoom distance conferencing technology, they will be available at the Extension offices in Alliance, Scottsbluff and Sidney. Local Nebraska Extension Educators at each of the sites to help answer questions. Topics include:

      Feb. 11: Landscape Management (Extension Educator Terri James).

      Feb. 18: Rots and Spots – biotic and abiotic issues in landscape systems using integrated pest management practices, (Extension Educator Kyle Broderick).

      Feb. 25: Nebraska Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program (Terri James); and Soils (Becky Young, Assistant Professor of Practice, UNL Department of Agronomy and Horticulture).

      March 3: Bugs (Extension Educator Jody Green).

Advanced classes

      For proficient (as well as beginner) gardeners, the daytime classes run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 3, 10, 17, and 24. They will take place at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff, except for the Feb. 3 session, which will take place at the North Platte Natural Resources District Office, 100547 Airport RD, Scottsbluff.

      The topics are designed for advanced Master Gardeners; however, they are open to everyone. Topics include:

      Feb. 3 (NRD office): Review of Nebraska Master Gardener Forms, Record Keeping, Volunteer Opportunities, and Writing Public Service Announcements (Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator; and Laurie Zitterkopf and Elaine Pile, Master Gardeners); Greenhouse Tour (Jenifer Berge Sauter, NPNRD); NRD Tree Planting Program (Todd Filipi, NPNRD); and Pruning Fruit Trees and Shrub Fruits (Chrissy Land, Nebraska Forest Service).

      Feb. 11: Garden Design (Extension Educator David Lott); Plant Propagation – Demonstration and Hands-On, Using Different Methods (David Lott).

      Feb. 18: Garden Diseases (Extension Educator Amy Timmerman); Pesticide Safety – What to Wear, and Reading Labels (Extension Educator Gary Stone).

      Feb. 24: Decorative/Ornamental Grasses and Maintenance (Extension Educator Elizabeth Killinger); Perennial Flower Gardening/Succession Flowering (Extension Educator Kelly Feehan)

Lambing and Kidding School will be held at two locations in Nebraska on January 25, 2020.   Each location will have speakers in the morning and will have a farm tour in the afternoon.  The locations for the program will be the Chadron Fire Hall located at 302 West Third Street in Chadron NE and 4-H building at the Custer County Fairgrounds located at 44100 Memorial Drive in Broken Bow Nebraska.  Speakers and topics for the program are:

  • “How to Keep Ewes and Does healthy through Disease Control and Treatment” by Brian Vander Ley DVM, Great Plains Education Center, Clay Center Nebraska
  • “Economical Feeding for the Doe”  Dr. Steve Hart, Goat Extension Specialist, Langston University, Langston  Oklahoma
  • “Economical Feeding Programs for the Ewe.” Ivan Rush, sheep producer, Scottsbluff, NE
  • “Good Sheep Management Practices.” David Ollila, Sheep Specialist, South Dakota State University, Rapid City, SD
  • “Treating Chilled Newborns, Tubing Lambs/Kids” Dr. Regina Rankin DVM and Vicki Milner, Crawford Companion Animal Clinic, Crawford NE
  • Hands-on Tour includes:

o   Care of the young “bum” lamb and goat

o   Body condition scoring of ewes and does

o   When and how to assist difficult births

  • Broken Bow tour: Beth and Hannah Smith’s Farm, 44306 Road, Broken Bow NE
  • Chadron tour: Connie Moore’s Farm, 61 Goffena Rd, Chadron NE

The cost to attend is $25 for non-Sheep and Goat Producer members, $20 for members and $10 for students.  This cost includes handouts and lunch.  To preregister e-mail ne.sheep.goats@gmail.com or call Melissa Nicholson at 308-386-8378.  The Nebraska Sheep & Goat Producers Association and Nebraska Extension is sponsoring the program.